The Book Thief, Scene 1

Liesel Meminger, orphan, is often left hungry in her new household, and this “inspires [her and her best friend Rudy’s] attachment to an older group of kids who stole from the farmers. Fruit stealers.” (138) They begin by stealing from farms, before Liesel decides to go after something bigger, illustrating her drive to accomplish more. Liesel, with help from Rudy, devise a plan to steal from the boy that delivers food. However after, Liesel still has morals about to the situation, as after the ordeal, she goes back to the group of boys she met earlier, and rationed up the food with everyone, before going back with Rudy to return the boy’s basket, which they also stole. This character development shows Liesel’s morals, and how the will adapt to a situation. In this context, she had very little to eat, stole from another person, but still shared it even when she didn’t need to, and returned the boy his basket, showing her good intentions, but how dire situations forced her against them. Along with that, “[On the way home Liesel asked Rudy] ‘Do you feel bad?’”(140), implying that she was thinking about her actions, questioning them long after. This character development left me satisfied, as it showed the type of person Liesel was, and as such, her future actions will be able to be a better reflection of her personality. This situation is one a lot of people can’t personally relate to, however the book can make you relate by connecting you to the story indirectly, as well as the perfectly suited writing style. While not apparent at first, it is evident that Liesel demonstrates social responsibility. She has motives for doing what she does, which alone would not be enough to justify her social responsibility, but she goes on to share the stolen goods, as well as return unneeded personal belongings. She is showing some of the highest levels of social responsibility such as showing empathy and changing actions based on that.


  1. Nathan,

    A great first response to your independent novel study!

    – Evidence from the text is clear and shows a good understanding of Liesel’s wants, fears, and conflicts within the story.
    – Explanations of why you agree / disagree with your protagonist’s actions are detailed and act as a solid critique.

    – Be very careful with tense changes and passive voice throughout this piece. TIP: avoid static to-be verbs, and instead, replace them with more active, present tense verbs. Remember to read your work aloud to yourself before posting to catch any grammatical errors, typos.

    – How might you connect the conflicts in your reading to specific examples you have experienced, seen, or heard about in your own life?

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